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Nutrient limitation in species-rich Calthion grasslands in relation to opportunities for restoration in a peat meadow landscape

B.P. Van de Riet, A. Barendregt, K. Brouns, M.M. Hefting and J.T.A. Verhoeven
Applied Vegetation Science
Vol. 13, No. 3 (August 2010), pp. 315-325
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40927807
Page Count: 11
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Nutrient limitation in species-rich Calthion grasslands in relation to opportunities for restoration in a peat meadow landscape
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Abstract

Questions: Which nutrient(s) limit(s) vegetation productivity in Calthion grasslands? Is phosphorus release a bottleneck for restoration of species-rich Calthion grasslands on rewetted dairy meadows? Location: Three species-rich Calthion grasslands in the Western Peat District in the Netherlands. Methods: We conducted a field fertilization experiment with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in three existing Calthion grasslands to evaluate the potential for restoration on rewetted dairy meadows. Responses of above-ground biomass, tissue nutrient concentrations and nutrient ratios were determined after 2 yr of fertilization. Results: Biomass increased with fertilization with Nonly and K-only but did not react to P-only additions.Comparisons of tissue nutrient concentrations and nutrient ratios also gave indications of N and K limitation. Conclusions: The strong P release expected after rewetting should not necessarily interfere with restoration of Calthion communities on rewetted dairy meadows. It is concluded that for successful restoration management measures should focus on reducing N and/or K availability. Potassium might be an overlooked bottleneck in the restoration of species-rich grasslands.

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